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Boston Clubs Play for Ten Boxes of Cigars

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Pre-modern Rules
City/State/Country: Boston, MA, United States
Game Massachusetts Game
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

"The Aurora Ball Club and Olympic Ball Club will play best 3 in 5 games at Base ball on Tremont street mall on Friday next at half past 5 o'clock for 10 boxes of Havana Cigars.  The public are invited to be present.  A sufficient force will be in attendance to prevent confusion." [Full Item]


Boston Herald, September 7, 1853;

see also:

Boston Herald, September 18, 1854; Boston Daily Bee, July 30 and September 10, 1853.



The rules for this match are not known.

Protoball suggests that this game was played by early Mass Game rules, based on the use of the best-of-five format, but this is mere speculation.



Four years later, the Olympic Club's written rules show similarity to the Dedham rules for the Massachusetts Game that appeared in 1858. 

Best-of-three and best-of-five formats are later seen in matches in MA and upstate NY; the "best-of" format may have been common in the game or games that evolved into the Mass Game. 


2021 Note: earlier, we had asked, "Do we know any more about the Aurora Club?"

On 10.6/2021, the ever-vigilant Richard Hershberger wrote:

"Protoball 1853.19 reports an upcoming game between the Aurora and Olympic Clubs of Boston, and asks if we know anything more about the Auroras.  
The Boston Daily Bee of July 30, 1853 reports on the club's commencing exercises on the Boston Common and claims 60 members.  They are a morning club, which likely explains the name, meeting at 4:30 a.m.
The Boston Daily Bee of September 10, 1853 reports the results of the game with the Olympics, the O's winning 45-35 rounds in three successive games.  This may hint that a game was to 15.  You will be relieved to know that the Auroras paid the wager of ten boxes of Havana cigars.
The Boston Herald of September 18, 1854 reports that the Auroras are commencing their exercises for the season.  The late date and the subsequent disappearance of the club suggests that they were in reality moribund.
Richard Hershberger"




Edit with form to add a comment

Was a form of unpleasant "confusion" anticipated?  Like what? Did the "sufficient force" imply that constables might be present to prevent a rumble?

Was this game given other newspaper coverage?

What do we know about where the "Tremont Street Mall" was? Was it not on Boston Common?


Edit with form to add a query
Submitted by David Nevard; Richard Hershberger
Submission Note 10/4/2014 and 10/6/2021 respectively


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